More than 40,000 acres of forest in Boulder County have been devastated by pine beetles — and more than 1.5 million acres across the state.
That’s a lot of dead trees. And, it seems, a lot of people are interested in using wood from beetle-kill trees for flooring, furniture and paneling. But as it turns out, it’s easier (and cheaper) to get beetle-kill wood — which has a pleasant blue stain — from other Western states with larger existing lumber industries than from Colorado.
Compared to Canada and other states with more established lumber industries, Colorado has smaller mills, fewer logging arterial roads and skinnier diameter trees. Canada beats the market in price and quantity for many reasons, including subsidy programs, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports.
The end result for Colorado is a smaller variety of finished beetle-kill wood products, higher prices and fewer finishing capabilities — like kiln-dried as opposed to air-dried. Many contractors demand kiln-dried beetle-kill wood for its resiliency. Read more